Day 15 NaPoWriMo 2020

Photo By Aashish Vaidya


The pulse quickens, the heart beats faster
The train gains speed even around the bend
It passes through snowy landscapes hugging
The mountains, hanging right on the precipice
Below lies the valley, the pulse quickens
The trumpets blare, the heart beats faster
I am in a question-answer session with you
Though tragic events unfold, there is optimism
There are portents and signs, is there more pain?
More suffering? Is there hope,
Will resurrection follow death?
Facing extinction, species die out
Facing extinction, species reappear
As if Lazarus is raised from death
Are these the warning shots
across the bow?  The shots that warn –
That must be unheeded at our peril
The carbon-oxygen cycle goes forward
The oxygen-carbon cycle reverses.
The beat goes on, life goes on
Which species will die out
Which species will thrive
Who will be extinct: homo sapiens
Or homo economicus?  Does it have to
Be a choice?  Can’t they both survive?

Like the rules of Improv – ‘Yes’ and ‘And’.

Notes:  Day 15 of NaPoWriMo 2020.  Today’s prompt “takes its cue from Arkansas. Today, I’d like  to challenge you to write a poem inspired by your favorite kind of music. Try to recreate the sounds and timing of a pop ballad, a jazz improvisation, or a Bach fugue. That could mean incorporating refrains, neologisms and flights of whimsy, or repeating/inverting lines or ideas – whatever your chosen musical form would seem to require! Perhaps a good way to start is to listen to your favorite piece of music and “free-write” for the duration  of the piece, and then use what you’ve written as the building blocks for your poem.”

The stream of consciousness writing was done while listening to Peter Gabriel’s Passion.  The music was a movie soundtrack to The Last Temptation of Christ, a movie by Martin Scorsese.  Gabriel reworked and re-released as a stand alone album, months later. It is perhaps one of the seminal work of world music.  It features musicians from across the world, including Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and L. Shankar from South Asia, Youssou N’Dour from Africa and others.  A hauntingly beautiful album.

As I ran out of time, today, the poem is pretty much what popped out of my head.  I will still need to go back and rework it.

Cherry Blossoms

Day 4 Of NaPoWriMo 2018. 

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The pink clouds of sakura shroud the walkway, down by the river
Many partake in hanami lazing away the day, down by the river.

The light rail tracks over the pink canopy, as the zephyr shakes
and sways in unison hundred trees in an array, down by the river.

A young couple hogs the prime spot, taking endless number of selfies
to capture the fleeting, and cajole time to stay, down by the river.

Women with radiant faces covered in head scarfs, admire the memory
of interns of wrong ancestry, who were whisked away down by the river.

The wispy petals, flutter, almost ready to scatter in a shower of pink, as
dewdrops must have clinged on leaves, early in the day, down by the river.

Entranced in those shapely eyes, enticed by those smooth cheeks,
Awash in fading rays, the blooms are ready to slay, down by the river.

If by chance or by fate, someone could be made for someone, then
witness the blossoms perform this forever ballet, down by the river.

The regularity of the rising and the setting sun contributes to the ‘Mirage’
The blooms as now, will always in the wind sway, down by the river.

In Japanese,
Sakura – cherry blossoms
Hanami – literally flower viewing, picknicking under the cherry trees, Japanese tradition of welcoming the spring

Today’s prompt was writing about the abstract but with use of concrete nouns and adjectives:

Our craft resource today focuses on the use of concrete nouns and specific details, using the idea of “putting a dog in it.” Today, we challenge you to write a poem that is about something abstract – perhaps an ideal like “beauty” or “justice,” but which discusses or describes that abstraction in the form of relentlessly concrete nouns. Adjectives are fine too! For example, you could have a poem about sadness that describes that emotion as “a rowboat tethered with fishing line to a willow that leans over a pond. Rainwater collects in the bottom, and mosquito eggs.” Concrete details like those can draw the reader in and let them imagine the real world where your abstract ideal or feeling happens.

This is another ghazal – so four for fourm now. Maybe, I will continue with the form for the rest of the month? Also, this is my third or fourth poem, inspired by the 100 cherry trees lined up on the north side of Portland’s waterfront. How can you not be inspired? Hopefully, the prompt, if not literally, still comes through in these couplets and the subject of the ghazal.